Posted by Douglas Sorocco at August 3, 2005 11:14 PM
Dennis Kennedy has an interesting post up about the ever present BlackBerry entitled: A Contrarian View of the BlackBerry. Dennis, in only the way Dennis can, squarely takes aim:
I'm a bit of a contrarian on the whole obsession of lawyers with the Blackberry. See this article on the phenomenon featuring my former law partner Jim Gunn (one of the people who I truly appreciate having gotten the chance to work with during my legal career) for an overview of lawyers' affinity for the BlackBerry. In Jim's case, he has his usual geat sense of humor about the whole phenomenon.I was talking to Dennis the other day and we were laughing about our recent travel horrors and I recounted to him a story about making a number of congressional visits while in DC last week. I found it interesting to watch two groups of people: the families touring the congressional office buildings and the staffers working in the congressional office buildings. The families were walking around with wide open eyes, smiles and a general sense of wonderment and excitement. In fact - they were the only people who would actually look you in the eye and acknowledge your presence. The parents were usually herding the kids and answering a gazillion questions a minute. Every time someone in a suit or "professional attire" hurriedly walked by staring zombie-like into their BlackBerry, a hushed silence befell the groups as they attempted to figure out if it was someone "important".
Since I usually make most of my visits in the spring, I don't usually get the see the large groups of tourists. It was a blast. Everyone was having fun and genuinely excited to be seeing democracy in action. What does this have to do with the BlackBerry? Well, the staffers, as you could imagine, were clueless as to what was going on around them. Maybe it has become too commonplace for them, maybe it wasn't quite so interesting to be asked for the 5,000th time where the cafeteria could be found. It could be a lot of reasons - but the one thing that struck me as funny was that all of these staffers were hurriedly walking (running) around with their eyes glued to their hands where the ever present BlackBerry could be found. In almost a trance, they move a couple of fingers, scroll a wheel, sigh and move on down the hall. It was almost as predictable as the Oompa Loompa dance moves in the new Willie Wonka movie.
My comment to Dennis: the BlackBerry is now a barometer or indicator of who is important and who is "out of the loop". On that particular warm and steamy afternoon in DC I knew, however, what group was "the important ones" - the kids and families who were genuinely interested in how our government works.
I know that at least one of the kids I saw that day will be a rethinker - and I doubt they will ever think of a BlackBerry as an indicator of "importance".